The Onion Announces Four Media Partnerships in Strategic Bid to Expand Print Distribution

Oct 25, 2010, 14:45 ET from The Onion

CHICAGO, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Onion, the award-winning satirical news organization, recently announced four new business partnerships in cities across the U.S. The company views these partnerships as components of a broader, strategic plan to expand its national print distribution.  Four media organizations teamed up with The Onion in the past four days:  Austin American-Statesman, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wisconsin State Journal and The Denver Post.

Under the terms of each deal, The Onion maintains exclusive rights and responsibility for all creative content, while the media companies assume business management responsibilities, including advertising sales, printing and distribution.

The Onion began opening itself up to franchise and partnership opportunities over the last year as a means of expanding the paper's distribution nationwide.  The plan was to attract business partners within the eight markets where The Onion currently publishes and grow from there.  This past summer, The Onion joined forces with The Chicago Tribune, making Chicago the first partnership market.  Under the new arrangements, Austin, Denver-Boulder, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Madison all will become part of the new partnership program, covering six of the eight original markets.

"These new business partnerships are win-win situations," said Steve Hannah, President and CEO of The Onion. "We get to concentrate on doing what we do best: creating award-winning comedy and pop culture content for a young, educated, conspicuously consuming audience nationally and internationally.

"Meanwhile, our partners get to add an iconic brand to their media portfolio and reach the most coveted demographic in advertising."

At the core of The Onion brand is content creation.  This long-term plan allows the company to maintain its print roots while simultaneously embarking on new endeavors online and in broadcast television. The video arm of the company, which won a Peabody Award in 2009, is currently producing two television shows – one for Comedy Central and one for the Independent Film Channel (IFC) – based on Onion Sports Network and Onion News Network, respectively.  Both shows are scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2011.  Meanwhile, The Onion's pop-culture focused publication, The A.V. Club, which has seen a 400 percent increase in traffic in recent years, continues to expand its online video offerings, including the wildly popular, "A.V. Undercover" music series.

Founded in 1988, The Onion began as a student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Since then, the company has grown to become a multimedia brand, reaching fans through print, broadcast, radio, and online outlets as well as mobile apps.  The Onion and The A.V. Club have a devout following of 1.8 million weekly readers in print and an audience of about 10 million unique visitors online each month, along with several bestselling books.

SOURCE The Onion